Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Smart Men Marry Smart Women 2: SWANS Won't Fly

Christine Whelan begins Why Smart Men Marry Smart Women with a cute story. She describes Beth, who took out an ad in 1970 looking for a man who wasn't afraid of a "Ph.D. in a miniskirt." She found her man. She then wrote a couple of bestsellers: A Baby … Maybe? about educated women choosing to have children, or not, and Boy or Girl? about sex selection. Then Beth and her husband had a child. The birth announcement reproduced the two book covers, with "Yes" in answer the first title, and "Girl" circled in the second.

Christine Whelan is that child.

Whelan's best shot at pop sociological immortality of her own is the acronym SWANS – Strong Women Achievers, No Spouse. She even holds the trademark on the acronym and phrase; the title page notes that they appear in this book under license.

There are several interesting findings and ideas in this book, but I don't think SWANS will be one of them. For one thing, it is too cutesy. She has to torque the phrase too much to fit the acronym she wanted to get to. For another, the point of her book is to offer hope to SWANS that they don't have to stay that way. Those promised Smart Men will come along and turn them into SWAWS, which just doesn't have the same sizzle.

SMMSW doesn't sing, either.

How about Smart Women And Men, Paired?

And then the next stage, Smart Women And Men, Parents? But that will be the subject of a later post.

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